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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
okay i'm a few months into driving stick and sometimes when i come up to traffic i sometimes downshift instead of braking to slow down. now is this bad for the car or is it okay to do? thanks.
 

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I do it.

The manual recommends that you engine brake in conjunction with wheel braking. People have different opinions on this, though.
 

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I do it too. It makes me feel more "connected" to the car and adds to the enjoyment of manual vs. auto. trans in my book... YMMV of course.
 

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only if you are road racing...other than that
its annoying as hell, brakes are cheaper than trannies and clutch.
 

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It's called "engine braking". Drivers do if. Soccer Moms don't. Go ahead, be a driver. (Sounds like a VW commercial!)

Just remember, brake pads are cheaper than new rings. So be judicious.

misterx

:cool:
 

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Well, engine braking is the correct terminology, but it's not a bad thing for the engine as long as you're not inserting the gear into a too high a speed. As Campbell stated "rev matching" would be a good idea.

Engine braking shouldn't be used to stop a car, but should be used in conjunction to braking(the foot kind). Engine braking is a good way to control your speed, not necessarily stop you. As your skill in driving increases you will understand that engine braking is not as vital in a track environment or autocross events. Braking gets you down to speed far faster than engine braking. Going down a hill because your brakes are overheated and you need a way to control speed, engine braking is a good idea.

Overall, it's not bad idea to do so, but not necessarily required in a daily commute to school/work. Use the brake...far better for stopping your car. Plus, it's cheaper to replace the pads. :D

-LostLamb
 

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MisterX said:
It's called "engine braking". Drivers do if. Soccer Moms don't. Go ahead, be a driver. (Sounds like a VW commercial!)

Just remember, brake pads are cheaper than new rings. So be judicious.

misterx

:cool:
Yah what this guy said! hahaha

Sorry MisterX...didn't see your post there....LOL
You make me sound like I'm redundant...am I redundant? You make me sound like I'm repeating myself.


-LostLamb
 

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how to do that?
anyone wanna teach me how to break using lower gear?
 

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If I have to slow fast, I usually put it in a lower gear, then SLOWLY and GENTLY let out the clutch while braking. Slows me down fast. I'm not sure if this is good or bad, I've only been driving a stick for about 6-7 weeks. Is this bad?
 

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verbal said:
If I have to slow fast, I usually put it in a lower gear, then SLOWLY and GENTLY let out the clutch while braking. Slows me down fast. I'm not sure if this is good or bad, I've only been driving a stick for about 6-7 weeks. Is this bad?
Bad. You're using your clutch to speed up the engine. If you're going to do it, make sure you rev match. That means you should make the rpm of the engine match the rpm needed in the gear you're in at the speed you're at.

Translation => You shouldn't feel the shift, just the deceleration afterwards.

tcc
 

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thechickencow said:

Translation => You shouldn't feel the shift, just the deceleration afterwards.
If you are running about 3K RPMs in 3rd and want to downshift to 2nd when you approaching a light, you would want to perform the following steps:
1. Depress clutch, pull shifter to neutral
2. Release clutch, 'blip' throttle (read as give it enough gas to raise the RPMs about 1K.)
3. Depress clutch, slide shifter into 2nd.
4. Finally release clutch about 1K RPMs higher then what they were in 3rd.

This should give you an idea of how to go about it. Don't take it as scripture, just get an idea...Good luck. It makes for much smoother shifts. Feels much nicer than letting the clutch pull the engine up to speed!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
okay i use the technique, clutch in, neutral, gas, gear, clutch out. (same as what campbell stated) i hit the gas about the same time i put the shifter into neutral which makes the downshift smooth rather than jerky. however, sometimes i don't time it right when doing a 3 to 2 downshift better when i do 4 to 3. well i only engine brake when for example i see a red light far ahead and think i'm going to fully brake and stop but then the light turns green and i have to go again.
 

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OK, I've been wondering about this myself: I never downshift unless I'm sure the engine will be below 3K. And I let the clutch out nice and gently- I gather from this thread that I should be "rev matching" in order to downshift, as my method is bad for the trans, clutch and piston rings. Is this a decent summary?
 

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hmmm...

i engine brake while rev matching. i personally feel that if you're doing it properly, there is no additional risk to the engine, seals or tranny, and you might as well save your brakes. the engine was designed to handle reasonable loads in reasonable rpm ranges. my brakes are on target for replacement around 50K miles, which is great for any wallet. (my pads are half gone at 30) plus, on ramps and hwy driving, it's great to souble clutch into 4th from a nice cruise to toast a honda. ;)

dR
 

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you can heel-toe also.


But in normal driving:
Brake pads are cheaper than a clutch replacement
 

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Heel-toe? I think it'd be a little difficult on the WRX- I'm not in love with the clutch and its' long travel- anyone put a clutch stop in their car?
 

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The gas and brake pedals are close together...unlike double clutching (described earlier), you don't pump the clutch.

It's basically:

1. Press the clutch pedal in and hold
2. Slide part of your foot to the acclerator pedal to start to rev-match
3. Downshift
4. As you release the the clutch pedal, slide the foot fully onto the accelerator pedal.

For braking slide the foot back to the brake pedal and repeat.
 

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Most driving instructors and pro drivers will tell you to use the brakes to slow down, and the gears to accelerate. Race cars need to survive a 1-4 hour race, and we need to make our cars last much longer. As you hit the apex, have the car in the proper gear and accelerate off the corner. Not having the tranny/engine rev matched can really unstettle the car, as I found out at a Skip Barber class when I went spinning into pit entrance. Didn't hit anything and I kept it running. It was friggin great.
 

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Downshifting because you have to slow down is ok..part of everyday driving, but why even bother with abusing your engine and transmission to stop your car. Most cars on the road are automatics, do you see any type of engine braking used or suggested with these cars...not usually..maybe on a long steep grade...there might be a sign saying to use a lower gear..usually for trucks.
someone said ..." Going down a hill because your brakes are overheated and you need a way to control speed, engine braking is a good idea. " true if you are driving a big tractor trailer or similar where all the help possible is needed to stop a heavy vehicle. those transmissions and engines are DESIGNED for engine braking!
does your wrx need help slowing itself down..? if it does..you got a brake problem..take to dealer...otherwise ...yes it is bad for the car... do you think spinning unnecessary rpms on your engine is good for it in any way? what about putting all that stress back on the tranny? or your expensive awd system? engine mounts? clutch? do you like loosing fuel econemy? do you like doing what all the rice cakers do in their civics everytime they slow to a stop light?
if you want to be connected with you car..great..shift smart..anticipate your gears. downshift when necessary, for additional power or because you are slowing down, not to slow down. Use your brakes to slow down!..my $.02
 
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